The purpose of this study was to investigate the reasons for enlistment among the Norwegians in America before the Civil War. Another aim was to investigate a part of the Norwegian-American history that has not been examined to any great extent. There has been written a lot about the Norwegians in the American Civil War, but there has been little or no research on the question why they enlisted. Previous scholarly works seem to have left this question out of their analysis. Therefore, it seems appropriate to answer this question. The method applied for this thesis was a qualitative study of the letters written by the Norwegians in America, the so called America letters. The thesis focused on reasons for enlistment within the letters in order to find any common ground between the enlistees. The result of the study was four main reasons were found in the letters. The reasons were: Ideological, Economical, Religious, and a Sense of Duty. Under each of these main reasons are sub-reasons as well. One or several of the main reasons were evident in each of the letters, and must therefore be considered as evidence for why the Norwegian immigrants decided to take up arms for their newly adopted country. The letters written by the soldiers represent a subjective view on the times they lived in. Therefore they cannot be trusted as one hundred percent true. However, they are the closest one can get to the events that are being discussed in this thesis. For this reason, examining the letters in order to find out why the enlistees volunteered seems to be the closest one can get to the truth.